16 Ways to Give Your Business an Advertising Boost on a Low Budget
As a business owner, whether small or large, you know that you have to promote your business if you are to make sales, build a brand image, and generate a revenue. That’s a given – an advertising boost is what gets you and your products and services noticed. What’s also true is that most companies at one point or the other, witness a shortage of money.
What is the first thing they do? They devise a cost-cutting strategy and start to implement it straight away.
That’s great! So, what’s the problem? A lot of the time, that temporary low budget business strategy cuts down on marketing and advertising efforts immensely because the business just can’t afford it.
But guess what? You can still promote your business inexpensively. All you need is to have knowledge of the tools and channels at your disposal and how you can use them to your advantage.
Whether you want to learn how to use Facebook to promote your business, do it in person, or through email, we have you covered.
- Run a Useful Blog
- Enhance Old Content
- Add additional information
- Update the numbers
- Share old content again
- Aim for Perfection with Your Social Media Strategy
- Utilize the Power of LinkedIn
- Enter Business Partnerships
- Brand ALL Your Correspondence
- Network As Much As You Can
- Create a Listing for Your Business on Google My Business
- Become known as an authority in the niche
- Give Freebies and Samples
- Invest in Small Business SEO to Rank Higher in the SERPs
- Use HARO for Free Publicity
- Guest Post on Popular Sites
- Come Up with a Customer Referral Program
- Make use of Guerilla Marketing
Here are just a few strategies to get you started. Read on!
Run a Useful Blog
But how does a blog help you promote your business?
Do you try to sell your products through salesy blog posts?
Or does the blog just list your services and their details for people to view?
The point of a blog is to engage your customers and potential consumers with content they find useful, interesting, or plain entertaining.
Once they’re on your blog on a regular basis, you can redirect them to other parts of the site through internal links.
But that’s not all. You can also establish yourself as an authority in the field, resulting in the reader having more confidence in the brand.
You can also occasionally talk about your products or services but not in too much of a salesy manner.
The bottom line? An active and engaging blog will help you promote your business at little or no cost at all!
Not sure what you can write about? Maybe you can pick up a few tips here:
Before we move on, here are some pointers on creating content that will go viral:
Enhance Old Content
Content is king – but sometimes you don’t have money for royalty. So what can you do instead?
You can enhance content that you have already created in the past.
And this applies whether you are trying to figure out how to promote a catering business, how to promote a cleaning business, or anything in between.
While this is no match compared to actually creating new content, by reviving old content by making it more informative and relevant to the current time and audiences, you can get some visibility without investing a substantial amount of time and cash.
So what exactly do we mean by reviving old content? How can you make it relevant? It isn’t hard – here are some of the things you can do:
Add additional information
In the world of digital marketing, things change every single day. Which means you have plenty of new and useful information you can share with your readers.
Instead of creating new blog posts from scratch which will obviously take more time and effort, you can just add this information to current content.
Update the numbers
Let’s say you wrote a blog post in 2019 titled “Top content marketing hacks for your business in 2019.” While most or all the strategies you talked about may still be relevant in 2020, the title of this blog post will make it seem like outdated information.
All you need to do is to update the title, potentially add some new information, and share the blog post once again.
As long as the content is still relevant and useful to your readers, you can share it with them once again. There is absolutely no harm in that.
In fact, people who benefited from the content once are likely to remember it and give it another shot.
Taking these steps will help you put out content without a break, even when you can’t afford to create new stuff.
Aim for Perfection with Your Social Media Strategy
Does it cost you anything to post on Facebook?
Or has Instagram ever demanded any money from you when you post a picture of your latest product?
Social media platforms are the perfect way to promote your business for absolutely free!
And what do you get in return?
More than 3.7 billion people use social media on a daily basis worldwide. This is nearly half of the entire population of the world! Crazy, right?
You will agree with us, therefore, when we say with absolute confidence that you will find your target audience also uses social media. And you can reach them through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and so on, depending on your target demographic and other factors.
Through social media, among other things, you can:
- Share information about your products and services
- Post informational content
- Focus on image building
- Interact with your consumers
- Encourage feedback and respond to it
- Directly sell your products and/or services
Through all these activities, you get to – directly or indirectly – promote your business. Whether you choose to promote your business on Facebook or another platform, as we said before, depends on who you want to reach.
Utilize the Power of LinkedIn
Wait – what? We just talked about using social media platforms to give your business an advertising boost. But here’s the thing: LinkedIn deserves a special mention.
LinkedIn is a great place to interact with other professionals, not just your end consumers. And you can get seen by other businesses, which is especially useful for you if you are a B2B service provider.
All you need to do is to maintain an active profile, join groups, engage in discussions that are relevant to your niche, and just be seen as a reliable professional in the digital community.
You can also use the platform to share news about your company, as well as to share your informational content, so that you remain in the feed of those who will potentially need your products or services in the future.
Enter Business Partnerships
Entering into a partnership with another business in your niche is a sure shot way of getting more work, as well as an increase in visibility.
How does that work? Let’s look at this with an example. Let’s say you are a small business that provides all kinds of content writing services. You begin noticing that more and more of your clients ask for content writing AND design services. While you cannot afford to hire an entire team for graphic design, what you can do is to collaborate with a designing agency.
Together, you can take on projects for clients that require both content and design services.
This does three things:
- First of all, you get to enjoy double the visibility – from your marketing efforts, as well as those of your partner.
- Secondly, you get clients you couldn’t previously target because you couldn’t provide them an all-round service.
- Collaborating with a trustworthy company that is known to provide high-quality products and services can boost your business image because a company with a great reputation agreed to work with you.
All in all, entering beneficial business partnerships can help you with your business image, as well as build an additional cashflow, which is exactly what you need.
Brand ALL Your Correspondence
One very easy way to promote your business and make sure people know about you is to make sure you are visible.
This is especially important if you are a new business (read, low budget business that can’t afford to spend a fortune on marketing and advertising).
So how do you do it?
It’s pretty simple. All communication from your end should be branded with your company name, your logo, and other branding elements.
Sending out an email? Include the name of the brand, as well as the logo in the signature.
Creating flyers or promotional content for social media? Follow your color theme, add your name and logo, and make it visible at first sight.
Important side note: This also means that your logo and other branding elements should be so catchy that they stick with people once they see them.
Don’t believe us? Check out these blog posts to see why you should:
But that’s not all – you also need to brand yourself and the company when you speak to people.
Which brings us to our next point:
Network As Much As You Can
What can I do to become better known? How to advertise my business locally?
If you have been asking yourself these questions, here is the answer:
Attend conferences, seminars, and other relevant events that help you connect with people who can benefit your business in one way or the other.
Heck, connect with people who don’t benefit you in any way but would potentially prove to be a useful connection in the future.
You do you. But remember the end goal: you have to bring up the business and put it across in a way that it sticks with the person at the other end.
After all, local business advertising can only work if people actually remember you when they need a product or service you sell.
This is one of the easiest ways to promote your business without – wait for it – spending ANY money at all!
Note: Do NOT forget to hand out your business card to whoever you meet. On that note, make sure you have nicely designed, creative cards (especially if you belong to a creative industry) that will leave an impression and cause people to remember you.
Create a Listing for Your Business on Google My Business
If you’re wondering how to promote your business on Google locally, you need to set up a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
This is essential for you when you set up your new business.
There was a time when businesses used to list their information in phone directories, hoping consumers would find them if the need arose.
Can you imagine doing that today? Of course not! Online is where search is, and that is where your business listing needs to be.
So, what is a Google My Business (GMB) listing? Think back to the last time you searched for a business on Google. Remember a box that appeared on the right-hand side of the results page, with the brand’s name, maybe a picture of the store, and contact details among some other things?
Bingo – that is a GMB listing and that is just what you need to promote your local business.
By adding your listing and making sure it is always up to date, you can keep your consumers informed at all times. You can even get in touch with them through Google My Business messaging.
Here is a great resource by the king himself, Neil Patel, on how you can make the best use of a GMB listing:
The more you engage with other people, the more information about your business will spread through word of mouth.
We just talked about that, right?
But here, we’re referring to engaging with your target audience – who would actually have use for your products and services.
Interacting with them, showing them you care about them, welcoming and incorporating their feedback, and answering any questions they may have will do you as much good as it will do them.
And there are many ways in which you can do this. The best part? They’re free!
Here is an example of a few:
- Create a group to promote your business on Facebook – always keep the conversation going.
- Join other groups and be an active participant.
- Use the Facebook Live feature to have real-time conversations with your followers.
- Conduct contests and other fun activities.
In other words, you should be the first name that pops into a consumer’s mind when they need a product or service in your niche.
We know we have covered the gist of this in the previous points but it deserves a quick separate mention.
When you choose a brand over all other similar ones, what is your reasoning behind that decision?
More often than not, it will be because that brand is better than all the rest in the niche. Or you think that particular company knows exactly what they’re doing.
Now think about it: do you not want to be the exact same thing for the people you’re serving?
When your target starts to see you as an authority in the niche, as someone who knows the ins and outs of their business, they will trust you enough to buy your products and services.
And that is just what you need.
Here are some things you can do to establish this authority:
- Create magnificent content and add value to people’s lives through your blog posts.
- Write guest posts (we talk about this in detail later).
- Be visible whenever and wherever there is a discussion relevant to your business.
- Accept invitations to interviews and podcasts.
- Use social media to answer questions and concerns.
- Collaborate/correspond with other top names in the industry.
- Be an inspiration to and help newbies in the field.
There are many other things you can do but this is a start.
Give Freebies and Samples
You can talk and market and sell and do everything else in your power but sometimes, your target audience is just not ready to come on board.
They may have any number of reasons for this. Their loyalties may lie with your competitor. They don’t want to spend any extra money at the present time. They may simply not trust you.
At a time like this, you can start to give people samples to show them how spectacular your products and services are.
And this doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.
Launched a new line of frozen chicken products? Set up fry stations at the local supermarket and give out samples to passersby. Came out with a new perfume? Offer people a smell at the mall on a busy day.
Once they experience the actual product or service and like it, they will be more inclined toward buying it.
And while we’re talking about giving out samples to promote your business, you can do this indirectly too by sharing informational or training content to show off your level of expertise.
Let’s say, for example, you are a digital marketer. You put out a free video that teaches small business owners how they can do basic keyword research.
They then optimize their content for those keywords and see instant changes to their website traffic.
What have you done?
- Well, first of all, you’ve shown a potential customer that you know what you’re doing. But that’s not all – you’ve shown them that your strategies work for THEIR business in particular. What does this do? It proves to them that you are of special value to them. While today this is in the form of the information you share, tomorrow it can be in the form of your services.
- Secondly, you’ve created a situation in which the person feels indebted to you because they benefited due to you. This may be on a subconscious level and something that doesn’t manifest itself immediately. However, it stays with them in the long run.
So, what’s going to happen as a result of these two things? The next time this person needs any sort of digital marketing services, they’re going to come to you!
Invest in Small Business SEO to Rank Higher in the SERPs
Are you wondering how to promote your business on Google and make sure it appears higher up in the search engine results pages?
Your answer is SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the holy grail of digital marketing in today’s day and age. There’s no denying it.
The only reason we’ve included it this far down the list is because it can be a little more expensive than the other strategies we have talked about.
Search engine optimization ensures that your website appears at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) as a result of a relevant search. So what you are trying to do is basically to promote your business on Google.
There is much more to SEO than can be explained here but here are some blog posts that will give you a good idea of what it involves – do check them out!
One of the best ways to market yourself is to increase your visibility. There are a number of ways in which you can do that, some of which we’ve already discussed above.
One of the best ways you can get more people to know about your business is by responding to queries on HARO.
HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, is a platform where journalists post queries that can then be answered by experts in that particular niche. In other words, the journalists quote the experts in their articles – which is a win-win.
All you need to do is create a free HARO account, following which you are emailed newsletters every day. These newsletters contain queries from journalists who need help with stories they’re working on.
You can pick the queries that match your areas of expertise and pitch a response. If chosen, your response will be published, along with your name and a backlink!
Guest Post on Popular Sites
Guest blogging is basically blogging, but on somebody else’s site. You may think, I’m putting in all this effort to create informative, engaging content, but all the traffic it generates won’t even come to my site. What is the point?
But there is something in it for you – visibility!
And that isn’t all. When you guest post on an authority site in your niche, you:
- Increase traffic to your site too. If the guest site you are posting to has a substantial audience, you can tap into that pool too. If readers of the site like your content, they will want to learn more about you – hence, they will visit your site too.
- Become seen as an expert in the niche because you have valuable information to share.
- Build credibility because a popular, trustworthy site allowed you to post your content on their platform.
Do note, though, that your content needs to provide value for this to work at all.
In a similar way to guest posting, you can gain visibility by commenting on other people’s blog posts. This, of course, doesn’t have the kind of impact guest posting does, but you do get seen.
Come Up with a Customer Referral Program
If you are unable to market your products and services, you must be struggling to find new clients.
In other words, you are stuck in a vicious cycle where you don’t have cash to market yourself, hence you can’t find clients. Because you can’t find clients, you have little or no inflow of cash.
You need to find ways to get more and more clients. While that is possible through a lot of the strategies we have discussed above, there is one more thing you can do – come up with and implement a customer referral program.
It is wishful thinking that all your clients will refer you to their friends and family, even if you have provided them with the best services possible. You need to give them an inventive to refer clients to you.
Some incentives you can offer include:
- A free product, service or cash inventive for the referer
- Competitions that have great rewards but require your followers to submit high-quality leads in order to enter
- Customer loyalty tiers to encourage people to continue to refer leads. Offer a greater incentive every time a referrer moves to a higher tier.
Learn more about customer referral programs and all the different kinds of incentives you can offer here.
Make use of Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is the perfect tool for businesses that have little to no budget but lots of creative potential. And that is the kind of advertising boost you need to get your brand noticed and have your brand name stick in the minds of people.
Your aim with guerilla marketing is to catch people off guard in a pleasant way with an interactive advertisement they were not expecting.
Guerilla marketing strategies can be implemented indoors, outdoors, and at events in particular, actually making use of the people at the events.
Once you’ve caught people’s attention, you can rest assured that some of them will remember you when they need a product or service that you sell.
Here are some great guerilla marketing examples you can get inspiration from:
So, What Did You Learn?
We’re hoping that the first thing you learned is that you CAN promote your business, even if you are a little tight on budget.
All that’s left now is for you to implement these strategies and promote your business like you never knew was possible.
And as always, if you get stuck, get in touch and we will work it out together!